When reduction strategies are put in place and mental health consumers are still secluded: An analysis of clinical and sociodemographic characteristics

Rebecca Bullock, Brian McKenna, Teresa Kelly, Trentham Furness, Mark Tacey

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Internationally, seclusion practices continue to be the subject of intense clinical health service and academic scrutiny. Despite extensive efforts to reduce and eliminate this controversial practice, seclusion remains a clinical intervention widely used in contemporary mental health service settings. Early identification of people who are at risk for seclusion and the timely application of alternative evidence-based interventions are critical for reducing incidents of seclusion in real-world practice settings. This retrospective study aimed to determine the relationship between sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, and the use of seclusion for those mental health consumers for whom evidence-based seclusion-reduction initiatives had little impact. A 12-month centred moving average was fitted to seclusion data from a psychiatric inpatient unit over 2 years to determine stabilization in seclusion reduction. The number of consumers admitted was calculated from the point of stabilization for 1 year (n=469). In this cohort, univariate analysis sought to compare the characteristics of those who were secluded and those who were not. A multivariate logistic regression model was undertaken to associate future seclusion based on significant independent variables. Of those people admitted, 88 (19%) were secluded. The majority of seclusions occurred in the first 5 days (70/88, 79%). Multivariate logistic regression indicated that three variables maintained their independent associative risk of seclusion: (i) age less than 35 years; (ii) assessment of risk of violence to others; and (iii) a history of seclusion. The implications of these findings for nursing practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-512
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggression
  • Coercion
  • Confinement
  • Mental health
  • Physical
  • Seclusion

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